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Designed by Em T Sharp  for Nexus and Northern Pride


Nexus has launched a limited-edition Metro Pop card featuring icons from the LGBTQIA+ community to celebrate Pride 2024 and champion inclusive travel for everyone.


The dazzling design appears on the familiar Pop smartcard for this year’s Northern Pride Festival. They will be available at the event in Newcastle, 20 July, at the Market Village next to Grey’s Monument.


It was the work of local multidisciplinary creative designer and visual communicator Em T Sharp, whose design features LGBTQIA+ icons, including Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Marsha P Johnson, Claude Cahun and Audre Lorde.

in partnership with

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24 August 1945 - 6 July 1992

Marsha P. Johnson was one of the most prominent figures of the gay rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s in New York City. Always sporting a smile, they were an important advocate for homeless LGBTQIA+ youth, those effected by H.I.V. and AIDS, and gay and transgender rights

She found solace and community among other LGBTQIA+ individuals and adopted the full name Marsha P. Johnson - the “P” stands for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what Johnson would say in response to questions about her gender.

“No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.”


25 October 1894 - 8 December 1954

Claude Cahun was a Surrealist photographer whose work explored gender identity and the subconscious mind. The artist’s self-portrait from 1928 epitomises her attitude and style, as she stares defiantly at the camera in an outfit that looks neither conventionally masculine nor feminine.

“Beneath this mask, another mask. I will never cease to carry all these faces.”


19 October 1945 - 7 March 1988

Born Harris Glenn Milstead in 1945, Divine was called the “Drag Queen of the Century” by People Magazine upon his death in 1988.

Divine’s influence is everywhere today: from RuPaul’s Drag Race, which dedicated an entire episode to John Waters and Divine in Season 7; to The Little Mermaid, where he served as part of the inspiration for villainess Ursula; to the 2013 documentary I Am Divine. Today, a 10-foot high statue of Divine stands at the American Museum of Visionary Art in Baltimore, and Pink Flamingos in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“I only ask you for what is rightfully mine, what the good lord has bestowed on me: being divine!”


8 January 1947 - 10 January 2016 

Amidst his musical wanderings in the late '60s, the young David Bowie experimented with mixed media, cinema, mime, Tibetan Buddhism, acting and love.


A first rock album, originally titled David Bowie then subsequently re-titled Man of Words, Man of Music and again as Space Oddity, paid homage to the kaleidoscopic influences of the London artistic scene, while hinting at a songwriting talent that was about to yield some of rock n roll's finest and most distinctive work--even if it would take the rest of the world a few years to catch up.

“I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.”


5 September 1946 - 24 November 1991 

Freddie Mercury is arguably one of the most well known rock musicians, yet somehow, many people don’t know he was bisexual. Some assume he was straight by default. Others genuinely believe he was gay. Ultimately, the misconceptions come from two places.


First, the erasure of bisexual people, particularly bisexual men. The second is Mercury’s choice to have a private life as a celebrity, something completely within his right, that also left room for people to make assumptions.

"I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend. I dress to kill, but tastefully."


3 June 1906 - 12 April 1975

Thought to be one of the most photographed women of her time, Josephine Baker was a renowned dancer, a singer, a mother, a world war II spy, and bisexual Black woman. Her career illustrates the way entertainers can use their platforms to change the world. 

“You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can’t go wrong. The world is behind you.”


25 March 1947 

A multiple Grammy-winning legend and flamboyant superstar, Elton is the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of his generation.

When Elton is not recording or touring he devotes his efforts to a variety of charities, including his own Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has raised over $450 million and funded programs across four continents in the 24 years it has existed. 

“There’s really no point in asking what if? The only question worth asking is: what’s next?”


18 February 1934 - 17 November 1992 

The Black feminist, lesbian, poet, mother, warrior Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was a native New Yorker and daughter of immigrants. Both her activism and her published work speak to the importance of struggle for liberation among oppressed peoples and of organising in coalition across differences of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age and ability

Lorde challenged the myths and taboos associated with black women, lesbians, and feminists.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare"


Em T Sharp - Square (Ellen Dixon).png

Em T Sharp is a queer and non-binary multidisciplinary creative and designer. Their practice intertwines graphic design, visual communication, and interactive media to focus on societal and cultural narratives.


Engaging with a diverse array of mediums, including digital art, print, film, fashion, and sculptural installations, Em’s work challenges conventional perspectives and fosters dialogue around contemporary issues.


Through bold and often colourful visual languages and experimental approaches, they work to provoke thought and inspire change.


Nexus, the public body which runs the Tyne and Wear Metro, has brought out the LGBTQIA+ themed Pop card in its role as the official transport and accessibility partner of Northern Pride.


Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “Our new Pride Pop cards are a great way for us to celebrate inclusivity in role our as the transport and accessibility partner for this year’s Northern Pride festival.


“The Pop card has been transformed, with vibrant and colourful new artwork that celebrates icons from the LGBTQIA+ community. They look great and we think they’re going to prove popular with some faces people will connect with, and others that will spark a conversation as they learn about these inspirational figures of queer culture.


“These new Pop cards are a limited edition so anyone who would to get one will need to snap them up. We’ll be giving them out on our stall at this year’s Northern Pride Festival, on the Saturday, 20 July, at the Market Village next to Monument Metro station.


“Inclusivity is the cornerstone of our brand, right across the communities that Metro serves. We are looking forward to customers travelling with us for the Northern Pride festival. Metro is a great way to get to and from these brilliant events.


“Accessibility is a core value for us, one where customers can feel safe, comfortable and travel free from discrimination.”

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